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Warm or Cool: what’s your skin undertone?

May 5, 2021 · Colour Theory

Imagine a wardrobe full of the right colours - the ones that compliment your skin undertone. It’s the difference between looking washed out or radiant; unwell or healthy. I know which I’d rather!

Your skin undertone is one of the major factors influencing whether you look great in your clothes. It’s the key to understanding which colours suit you.

And by simply knowing if you have a warm or cool undertone, you’ll be able to throw together outfits effortlessly – based on smarter colour choices.

Quite seriously, when you understand your skin undertone, you’ll start loving your wardrobe. Shopping becomes easier and money stretches further because you only buy colours that you look great in. Goodbye regretful buys.

So how do we unlock the secrets to an effortless wardrobe? Let’s dive in with these three steps.

1. Find out if you’re warm or cool.

Think back to school – do you remember how light works? It’s all about the refraction of light… but let’s not dive into a physics lesson today! The key takeaway for us is: every colour we wear reflects onto our skin. These colours against our skin can look fantastic or terrible, based on the various pigments in our skin - our unique complexion.

Working out whether you’re warm or cool isn’t always easy! The difficulty is this: we’re so accustomed to seeing our own face in the mirror, and we often make assumptions about our skin characteristics. That’s why the objective eye of a Colour Consultant is invaluable.

There are tips and tricks to help you get an initial idea:

  • Which colours look harmonious with your skin? Try holding warm and cool colours up to your face in the mirror and observe the differences. Which colours make your complexion look radiant, and which make you washed out?
  • Don’t assume anything about your skin tone! You may feel like you have pinkish skin and therefore must be cool. But in actual fact you might have warm undertones and therefore cool colours inflame the pinkish look, while warm colours may calm the pinkness.

If you’re intrigued, what you need is a personal Colour Analysis. The first step in a Colour Analysis consultation is to determine your skin undertone. Then we start working out other factors like contrast and intensity.

After a Colour Analysis, a whole world of matching colour palettes suitable for your skin tone will be revealed. Shopping by colour becomes a breeze!

2. Discover which colours suit warm and cool skin undertones.

If you’re a cool skin undertone you’ll likely look good wearing colour palettes that might include pink, purple, blue, black and others. If you’re warm, you’ll look better in clothes with a yellow undertone – shades of brown, oranges, reds.

But with such a rich sea of colours available to us, did you know there are cool reds and warm reds? Likewise, there are cool blues and warm blues. This type of variation is just the tip of the iceberg.

Your skin undertone is unique to you. That’s because it also relates to your eye colour, hair colour and other skin factors – like a tendency to easily tan or regularly get flushed cheeks. For this very reason, it’s great to get a personal colour analysis - it gives you the unique insight you need to make great wardrobe choices for you.

3. Accessorise to complement your skin undertone.

Jewellery, lipstick, belts and bags: these choices should also be based on your skin undertone. Once you discover which colour palette makes you look fabulous, don’t sabotage it with the wrong accessories!

Accessorise wisely to complement your skin, not clash with it. A warm skin undertone is usually going to look better with gold jewellery, earthy belts and bags, and the right lipstick shade. Whereas silver usually looks striking against cool skin undertones, as does black or bold belts.

So whether you’re warm or cool, you can look great by simply understanding which colours complement your skin undertone.